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The liberty in one fable is restrained to nature and good sense: in the other, it is wild and unbounded, so as frequently to lose sight of both. Pardon the freedom I have taken, to contradict your opinion and defend my own; for I shall be very ready to give it up to you, if after this you continue to think me in the wrong. It is prudent to argue with those who have such regard to our judgment as to correct it.
You ended a letter of good news very ill, in telling me that you had got the head-ach; I can bave but very little pleasure in any thing, though it be ever so agreeable, when I know that you are ill. I am, dear sir, your dutiful son, &c.
MR. LYTTLETON TO SIR THOMAS LYTTLETON.
Luneville, July 8, 1728., I HEARTILY congratulate you upon my sister's marriage, and wish you may dispose of all your children as much to your satisfaction and their own. Would to God Mr. P had a fortune equal to his brother's, that he might make a present of it to my pretty little M-! but unhappily they have neither of them any portion but an uncommon share of merit, which the world will not think then much the richer for. I condole with poor Mrs. – upon the abrupt departure of her intended husband: to be sure, she takes it much to heart: for the loss of an only lover, when a lady is past three-and
twenty, is as afflicting as the loss of an only child after fifty-five.
You tell me my mother desires a particular journal of my travels, and the remarks I have made upon them, after the manner of the sage Mr. Bromley. Alas! I am utterly unfit for so great a work; my genius is light and superficial, and lets slip a thousand observations which would make a figure in his book. It requires much industry and application, as well as a prodigious memory, to know how many houses there are in Paris ; how many vestments in a procession; how many saints in the Romish Calendar, and how many miracles to each saint; and yet to such a pitch of exactness the curious travellers must arrive, who would imitate Mr. Bromley. Not to mention the pains he must be at in examining all the tombs in a great church, and faithfully transcribing the inscriptions, though they had no better author than the sexton or cu. rate of the parish. For my part, I was so shamefully negligent as not to set down how many crosses are in the road from Calais to Luneville; nay, I did not so much as take an inventory of the relics in the churches I went to see. You may judge by this what a poor account I shall give you of my travels, and how ill the money is bestowed that you spent upon them. But, however, if my dear mother insists upon it, I shall have so much com- plaisance for the curiosity natural to her sex, as to write ber a particular of what rarities I have seen; but of all ordinary spectacles, such as miracles, rarée-shows, and the like, I beg her permission to be silent. I am, dear sir, your dutiful son, &c,
MR. LYTTLETON TO SIR THOMAS LYTTLETON.
Luneville, July 21. I THANK you for so kindly forgiving the piece of negligence I acquainted you of in my last. Young fellows are often guilty of voluntary forgetfulness in those affairs; but I assure you, mine was qnite accidental. Mr. D- tells you true, that I am weary of losing money at cards; but it is no less certain, that without them I shall soon be weary of Lorrain. The spirit of quadrille has possessed the land from morning till midnight; there is nothing else in every house in town.
This court is fond of strangers, but with a proviso that strangers love quadrille. Would you win the hearts of the maids of bonour, you must lose your money at quadrille; would you be thought a well-bred man, you must play genteely at quadrille; would you get a reputation of good sense, show judgment at quadrille; bowever, in supimer, one may contrive to pass a day without quadrille; because there are agreeable promenades, and little parties out of doors ; but in the winter yon are reduced to play at it, or sleep like a fly till the return of spring. Indeed in the morning the duke hunts; but my malicious stars have so contrived it, that I am no more a sportsman than a gamester. There are po men of learning in the whole country; on the contrary, it is a character they despise. A man of quality caught me the other day reading a Latin
author : and asked me with an air of contempt, whether I was designed for the church. All this would be tolerable, if I was not doomed to con- ; verse with a set of English who are still more ignorant than the French ; and from whom, with my utmost endeavours, I cannot be absent six hours in the day. Lord is the only one among them who has common sense; and he is so scandalously debauched in his principles as well as practice, that his conversation is equally shocking to my morals and my reason.
My only improvement here is in the company of the duke and prince Craon, and in the exercise of the academy : I have been absent from the last near three weeks, by reason of a sprain I got in the sinews of my leg, which is not yet quite recovered. My duty to my dear mother; I hope you and she continue well. I am, sir, your dutiful son,
FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.
Luneville, August 18. J WROTE to you last post, and have since received yours of the 20th. Your complaints pierce my heart. Alas! sir, what pain must it give me to think that my improvement put you to any degree of inconvenience? and perhaps, after all, I may return, and not answer your expectations. This thought gives me so much uneasiness, that I am ready to wish you would recall me, and save the
charge of travelling: but, no; the world would judge perversely, and blame you for it; I must go on, and you must support me like your son.
I have observed, with extreme affliction, how much your temper is altered of late, and your cheerfulness of mind impaired. My heart has ached withio me, when I have seen you giving yourself up to a melancholy diffidence, which makes you fear the worst in every thing, and seldom indulge those pleasing hopes which support and nourish us. O my dear sir, how happy shall I be, if I am able to restore you to your former gaiety ! People that knew you some years ago, say, that you was the most cheerful man alive. How much beyond the possession of any mistress will be the pleasure I shall experience, if by marrying well, I can make you such once more! this is my wish, my ambition, the prayer I make to Heaven as often as I think on my future life. But, alas ! I hope for it in vain, if you suffer your cares and inquietudes to destroy your health: what will avail my good intentions, if they are frustrated by your death? You will leave this world without ever knowing whether the promises of your son were the language of a grateful heart, or the lying protestations of a hypocrite: God in heaven forbid it should be so! May he preserve your health, and prolong your days, to receive a thousand proofs of the lasting love and daty of the most obliged of children ! We are all bound to you, sir, and will, I trust, repay it in love and honour of you. Let this support and comfort you, that you are the father of ten children, among whom there seems to be but one soul of love and obedience to yon.